Daniel and Late Ezekiel?

peter_kirk at sil.org peter_kirk at sil.org
Wed Jun 23 12:28:47 EDT 1999


Dear Ian,

Sounds like you have found some interesting gematria-like patterns in 
Ezekiel. No doubt the DSS people found some neat ways of fitting 
Ezekiel into their own calendar, and copied some of its thinking e.g. 
about Zadokite priests. That is no more proof that Ezekiel is from 
their time than the absurdities of medieval gematria are proof that 
other books were written after the introduction of the numbering 
system, or the absurdities of Bible codes are proof that the texts 
were written after the invention of computers!

Ezekiel's prophecies are presented as starting about 16 years after 
Josiah's clash with Egypt (1:2), and the prophecy against Egypt is 
perhaps dated to 21 years after that clash (29:1). Maybe Egypt's power 
was already dwindling, but quite likely this would not yet have been 
clear to a relatively ordinary man exiled to Babylonia. Anyway, 
Ezekiel speaks to Egypt as one already failing and which would no 
longer be a threat to others (29:7-9,15), probably an astute political 
judgment in his time as well as a prophetic word.

As for Tyre, do you have definite inscriptional and material evidence, 
not arguments from silence, for what you assert about it? Apparently 
according to Josephus Nebuchadnezzar beseiged Tyre for 13 years 
c.587-574, which at least suggests that before 587 it was an important 
place, which could have traded freely with Judah during the reign of 
Josiah, in Ezekiel's youth, when Assyria was weak and before the 
Babylonians arrived in the area. Clearly the author of Ezekiel had a 
knowledge and interest in Tyre's trading partners, which explains his 
knowledge of Tarshish, Rhodes and Cyprus.

Peter Kirk


______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Daniel and Late Ezekiel?
Author:  mc2499 at mclink.it at internet
Date:    22/06/1999 12:47

<snip>

How about the interest in Tyre when from the time of the Assyrians down to 
the time of the Babylonians commercial intercourse between Tyre and 
Jerusalem had been precluded? Tyre was not a player in the Jerusalem world 
for centuries before the fall, though it came to prominence (again?) 
starting sometime after the return. (This is similar to the situation 
regarding harangues against Egypt a power whose significance dwindled after 
its brief flirt with Josiah.) Of course, if one is a proponent of 
predictive prophecy in the case of Tyre, one needs to remember that the 
city has had an amazingly long continuity of inhabitation.

How about the geography of the Hellenistic world that includes Tarshish, 
Rhodes (Dedan), Cyprus (Kittim) -- all interesting for the little 
land-locked canton of Jerusalem --, and of a post-fall of Jerusalem 
knowledge of Egypt?

How about the interest in the sons of Zadok and its corollary of reduced 
significance of the Levites (as against Deut.), well-known from the DSS? I 
also find interesting the daubing with whitewash imagery found in the DSS.

How about the use of a solar calendar throughout the book, a calendar that 
Enoch indicates was only coming into vogue in the third century? (You can 
use a 364-day DSS-like calendar to show that no vision ever occurred on a 
Sabbath.)

I don't know when Ezekiel was written, but the indications seem to me 
definitely not the time the text ostensibly deals with.

Cheers,


Ian


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